Reflecting on past successes creates confidence in the future
Marcella, HR specialist for a food distribution company in Washington, told session 3 of the Leadership Development Lab:
"In my junior year of high school in Spokane, Washington, our volleyball team had been ranked in first place all year. The state championship was a two-day tournament. We went undefeated in all of our matches until the championship game. There were a few hours before the final game. Our team got together, planned out and discussed our strategies. We were pretty confident in our chances of winning since we had beaten this team the day before. In the first few minutes of the first game, we jumped out in front 7-2. Then something happened. I don't remember if it was a place shot someone didn't make or what, but the momentum shifted. We quickly found ourselves down 8-13. We all wondered what had happened. Needless to say, we lost the next game, the match, and the championship. After the game, my brother came over, gave me a big hug and said, 'Congratulations on a great year!' He said, 'It is up to you to take away the memories you want to keep from this experience. You can focus on your many wins or the few losses.' His comment helped me refocus on the successes of the season.
"The lesson I learned from this experience is that it's up to me to make the most out of all the moments and experiences in my life. The action I call you to take is to make the most out of all of your experiences and all the available lessons you can learn. Focus as much positive emotion on your successes as we all seem to place on our negative losing experiences. The benefit you will gain is an enjoyable life full of rich, empowering memories."
What a great coach Marcella's brother turned out to be! It would have been so easy for him to do what many parents do,
and certainly lots of big brothers do, and all too many coaches do in this volleyball situation. They say, "I guess you guys lost your focus when you . . . ," "It looked like you lost some of your energy after . . .," "Maybe you played too hard earlier in the week;" all of this analysis by an onlooker who has no actual personal experience in what really happened. Instead he did what he could do best – encouraged his sister, truly encouraged her to focus in on the wins, both literally and figuratively, of the season. This is what all good coaches do. This is how you leverage all of your experiences, learn from all experiences, both the successes and the failures. Remember this – though we may learn from our failures, all personal growth comes from acknowledging and celebrating our successes.
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